With the onset of a new year, many make resolutions to focus more on their health. The Ed Thomas YMCA of McCook’s Get Fit Team Challenge is making that easier.

The challenge runs 10 weeks and has teams of 15 compete and motivate each other to a healthier lifestyle.

“As a part of the challenge, all participants receive a before-and-after fitness analysis, weekly weigh-ins, weekly challenges, team workouts, weight loss tips, exercise advice and special personal training,” said Mitch Gross, CEO and executive director of the Ed Thomas YMCA of McCook. “Challenges like this are an important tool for those looking for motivation to lead healthier lifestyles in a positive environment with reinforcements from friends and teammates.”

To improve the challenge and the health of the participants, the McCook YMCA partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Cross of Nebraska (BCBSNE) to purchase a body composition scale to improve the fitness and weight-loss assessments. Beyond the challenge, they can use this scale for personal training assessments, special events for the community and more.

“This partnership with BCBSNE is extremely beneficial to the YMCA of McCook because it allows us to align ourselves with a credible organization who is interested in promoting healthy and active lifestyles at the grassroots level,” said Gross.

For BCBSNE, it was an easy decision to help with the program.

“They have the same vision as we do,” said Kathy Nellor, health transformation leader at BCBSNE. “It is all about improving the health and well-being of those community members. YMCAs are fitness centers, but they are also a place for socializing, mental well-being and so much more.”

BCBSNE hopes to continue collaborative community health and wellness efforts similar to last year’s flu shot clinics with YMCAs across the state.

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